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UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA MEDIA CONFERENCE
August 3, 2014
COACH MUSCHAMP:¬† Excited to get started today, 2014 University of Florida football team, start training camp and practice tomorrow, really split squad the first two days, generally having half the team practice early in the morning.¬† We're still in school.¬† We'll be bussing to the lacrosse field at 5:40 in the morning, and then have most of the younger guys go tomorrow night.¬† Have some meetings through the day to make sure we get ready to roll, have graduation obviously Saturday.¬† We'll do split squad the first two days.¬† Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, the entire squad practice at night.
Continue to build a foundation for our football team as we hit training camp.¬† It starts in the off season, which I was very pleased with how we did in the offense season.¬† It goes into spring ball, very pleased with what we got accomplished in spring ball.¬† And then really pleased with how our summer went.¬† The CR guys coming back.¬† I love the new NCAA rule, to be able to be on the field with our guys, see our guys work.¬† We're much further along then we have ever been because of the new rule.¬† That's a credit to the NCAA as far as that.
Now you hit training camp, it's about our preparation, how we prepare in the meeting room, on the field, all of those things and approaching it every day, preparing the right way.¬† Again, just met our team as far as those things are concerned, having a great attitude every day, coming out, knowing you've got to improve yourself, you either get better or worse every day.¬† Embracing adversity, we'll have adversity this year, when it'll happen, I don't know.¬† Be in training camp, during the season at some point.¬† It's going to happen.¬† We've got to handle and embrace that.
With that being said, embrace your competitive edge as a player.¬† That helps our football team.¬† Those are things to me that we are really emphasizing on, heading into camp, making sure that we develop those things.¬† Really talk to our team about turnover margin.
My three years at Florida, we've been 19 and 3 when we won or tied the turnover margin.¬† We've been 3 and 13 when we've lost the turnover margin.¬† That's a team status.¬† Not just about offense, taking care of the ball.¬† Defensively getting the ball off people.¬† We haven't been explosive enough offensively to overcome turnovers, and I think we will be this year.¬† Certainly not saying it's okay to turn the ball over.¬† We've got to take care of the ball.¬† That's the number one thing as far as our team goals are concerned.
Discipline and playing smart situational football.¬† We break up all practices and different things we're trying to emphasize for our guys to understand those things and penalties involved with that and discipline.¬† To continue to develop a blue collar over‑achieving attitude within our program.¬† We've got good enough players, we continue to do those things, we'll be fine.
As far as our roster is concerned, we needed to find a backup quarterback.¬† That is someone that will play in the fist ball game at some point.¬† That's going to be important for us to develop at that position.¬† I think we have great competition at running back, linebacker and receiver.¬† Some talented guys and those guys as far as the competition concerns, it's my best motivator.¬† Continue to develop depth on both offense and defensive lines.¬† I think the talent is there.¬† Some guys haven't played as much, but I'm very pleased with what I see, as far as our talent levels are concerned.
Sort out the secondary.¬† Again, the talent is there, some guys maybe not have played a lot.¬† I've played a lot of freshman DBs that have played extremely well in their first year.¬† Our specialists need to continue to improve from spring, which I felt like me made some strides in both punting the ball, kicking field goals and kickoffs and those sort of tings.¬† Those are the things going into camp we need to address as a staff, we know that, as far as just our total roster is concerned.
As far as injuries, we're healthy.¬† J.C. Jackson will start camp.¬† He will be noncontact.¬† I would say seven to ten days, but he's far ahead of where we thought he would be at this time.¬† But I'm going to guess seven to ten days, he should be cleared for contact.
Matt Rolin has been completely cleared, but we will limit him a little bit.¬† He and Andre have been cleared for everything.¬† Always in those situations you want to make sure those guys are you fully ready to go.
I'll open it up for any questions.
Q.¬† Can you talk about the receivers?¬† There's been a lot of talk, Florida hasn't had a great receiver in a while.¬† Do you think this is the year you see some guys break out?
COACH MUSCHAMP:¬† As far as the receiver position, two seniors jump out, Quinton Dunbar, I've been pretty documented that I think he's one of the most improved players in our program over the years.
Andre Debose missed his play‑making ability last year.¬† The guy is the leading kickoff returner in UF history, but a guy I think offensively we'll probably fit him a little better.¬† He'll play on the outside and also play in the slot some, utilize him with some of the speed sweeps and things.
Latroy Pittman has continued to improve.¬† Three freshman that played for us last year, Demarcus Robinson has really matured.¬† I think he had very good spring.¬† The game is slowed down for him.¬† Those guys, you heard me say it, it's not add water, instant player.¬† Sometimes it takes guys a little more time to adapt to the college speed of the game.
Chris Thompson has been a guy that's got really good top end speed.¬† He needs to continue to develop being a consistent catcher of those sort of things.
Alvin Bailey is a young man we redshirted and I thought did some nice things.
Ahmad Fulwood is a year faster, a year stronger.¬† He had a shoulder injury coming into camp last year from high school, so he was not able to lift as much and to some of the things you need to have young player to do.
All of those guys combined with Valdez Showers, who we've moved to play in the slot and compete with Latroy.
The great thing, we've got a lot of competition at the position, so it's going to make those guys work harder.¬† I think they have done a great job with Jeff and our quarterbacks this summer.¬† I'm excited to see those guys go out and compete.¬† I certainly feel like we have improved our ourselves at that position.
Q.¬† How much have you (inaudible)?
COACH MUSCHAMP:¬† Again, I think that that's something we sort of buried to start the summer.¬† It was great motivation through spring and the off season workouts something, but something we still go to deal with.
I mean, it's there.¬† I addressed our team about our preparation, about our attitude, about our embracing adversity, having a competitive edge every day.¬† To stick your head in the sand and pretend it was all injuries, that's not right.¬† You will fool yourself if you believe that.¬† We addressed a lot of those things in the off season and moving forward.¬† We're getting ready to get started with the 2014 Florida football team.
Q.¬† You've had real high praise for this team this off season, maybe more than any of your previous squads.¬† What is your thinking there?¬† How has this team earned that from you?
COACH MUSCHAMP:¬† From their work ethic, their buy‑in.¬† We always talk in terms of either renting it or owning it.¬† You take ownership in your team.¬† I see a lot of that.¬† I think we've improved our offensive roster tremendously at the receiver position, at running back.¬† Jeff is going to have a really good year.¬† I feel good about our first seven offensive linemen.¬† I think we're talented after that, just guys hadn't played much.
We talk in terms of Chaz Green and Max Garcia and DJ Humphries and Trenton Brown.¬† Trip Thruman has been a guy that's really come on and had a good spring.¬† Tyler Moore, those are all guys that have played well.
So I think the key ingredients offensively, we're better than we've been.¬† Defensively, we're not as talented as we were in 2012, but I do think we have the key ingredients, two inside tackles up front that are seniors and capable of playing very well, two edge rushers that have played well for us and I think will play consistency well for us this year.¬† A lot of competition at linebacker with some good players that have played well, and a talented secondary.
So I think all of the components are there.¬† I think we're talented enough with our specialists to kick the ball well.¬† We need to go do it now.
Q.¬† You also said that you've accomplished more in the spring than you thought and now mentioned the summer. ¬†How does that impact the fall and how much you guys need to get done here?
COACH MUSCHAMP:¬† The biggest thing is for young players.¬† To be able to meet with the young players extensively, go over things with them schematically and have them hit fall camp having an idea what over front means and what this formation means and what this route concept means, as opposed to being on the field and going through camp trying to teach it when they are tired.¬† Our guys are still in summer school the first week of practice.¬† They got a lot going on and then they are trying to get all this information.¬† The NCAA rules, we have to be in helmets the first two days.¬† We do a lot of installation in the first two days because there's not a lot of contact.¬† We do a lot of what we call tracking tempo, where we go 11 on 11.¬† It's full speed, but you can't do some of the drill work you need to do.
We spend a lot of installation in the first two days.¬† We've been able to go through that with some of our younger players so they at least have an idea of that.¬† You've also been able to repeat that cycle with the older players, especially when you are introducing something new.
COACH MUSCHAMP:¬† I really just focus on Florida and what we need to do to be successful.¬† I talked about turnover margin, that's number one.¬† Playing smart situational football, that's number two.¬† Playing with great discipline along with playing smart situational football and to outwork our opponent.¬† We're able to do those things, we've got good enough players and good enough staff.¬† We'll win plenty of games.¬† If we stay healthy at the quarterback position, we're going to win a bunch of games.
Q.¬† Did Gary (Inaudible)?
COACH MUSCHAMP:¬† Gary and I talked.¬† He went through a very difficult time the year before with a lot of things going on.¬† Very makeshift on the offensive side of the ball through the year, and just one of those things.¬† He's an outstanding football coach.¬† It's tough sometimes when you have got to face those adverse circumstances.
Q.¬† How much has Leon matured and developed since you have been here?
COACH MUSCHAMP:¬† He needs to be very productive for us.¬† That was something when we lost Dominic inside last year, we really suffered.¬† So he's a guy that he understands what's at stake for him right now.¬† He missed spring with a wrist injury.¬† Feel like he's come off that pretty well.¬† He needs to play well.¬† I think he's ready for the opportunity.
Q.¬† How big (Inaudible.)
COACH MUSCHAMP:¬† They are going to have to play.¬† That is the bottom line.¬† John Bullard, he can play inside and out.¬† Jay‑Nard Bostwick and Joey Ivie, Caleb Brantley, all of those gays are very, very capable of playing well for us.¬† Being a guy that at the end of the day, give us 18 snaps, give us 15, 18, 20 snaps.¬† It's a 70‑snap game, be able to divide that with two others guys and let the bigger guys play 45, 50 snaps in a game and stay fresh.¬† Especially in the heat, early in the year, rushing the passer, playing some up tempo teams, we're going to have to be deep in the defensive line.¬† You like to be able to play ten to 12 guys.
I think the talent is there, maybe the experience is not and that is something we need to get done.
Q.¬† Assuming you stay healthy, what gets you excited about the offense?¬† What do you look forward to?
COACH MUSCHAMP:¬† A lot of points.
Q.¬† As far as changing the (Inaudible.)
COACH MUSCHAMP:¬† Well, I think schematically we'll be drastically different because we're going to be in the shotgun all the time.¬† The tempo will be much different.¬† We're going to be on the ball.¬† We've got different mechanisms to go fast, to look back, to change the play based on the defensive look.¬† So there's a lot of different things built in that we will be much different to the fans sitting in the stands.¬† Our run game will be very similar to what we've done before, but it's going to be from the gun.¬† And in the pass game, I think we've really dressed some things down and simplified some things for our players to let our guys play faster.¬† That's really we're looking for.¬† Get the ball in space to play makers and let them make plays.
When you play against us, you are going to have to tackle in space.¬† That's what these teams create issues for you as a defensive coach.¬† You have got to be able to play in space.¬† You've got to be able to rush four guys consistently well as opposed to being able to pressure all the time because you create so many one‑on‑ones outside.¬† When you miss a tackle, it's a big play.
When you are able to rush four, you're able to play more zone and have eyes on the ball, especially with a mobile quarterback.¬† I think we present some issues for a defensive team.
Q.¬† Last couple years, you've really struggled in the first quarter.¬† Have you done anything preparation‑wise to be a better first‑quarter team?
COACH MUSCHAMP:¬† We've looked at any time from a travel standpoint whether we're on the road or at home, we've tweaked and looked at different things and hopeful we'll get better results as we move forward.
More than anything, being more talented on the offensive side of the ball is going to help us.
Q.¬† First three years, what do you feel is the most significant thing you've accomplished with the program on or off the field?
COACH MUSCHAMP:¬† I think we've accomplished a lot of things as far as where we are.¬† We've had the highest GPA this past spring, a 2.8 cumulative with our scholarship players since early '90s at the University of Florida.¬† That's a great accomplishment.
I feel like we've made some strides off the field, but we need to show some results from those positive things on the field.¬† That's what we plan on doing.
Q.¬† (Inaudible.)¬† Specifically what are you looking to get from him?¬† (Inaudible.)
COACH MUSCHAMP:¬† Well, he's a matchup issue because of his length.¬† He's gotten stronger, he's gotten much more crisp in his route running, snapping routes off.¬† He catches the ball extremely well.
But because of his length, he's a guy as a defensive coach when you line up, you are a little leery of lining up a smaller corner versus him because he does have exceptional ball skills and he catches the ball at the highest point very well.¬† So because of his length, he presents some issues.
Q.¬† Well, you made a point of the problem last year with the "woe is me" attitude.¬† Has there been a moment or time when you felt better about the mental toughness of this team in the off season?
COACH MUSCHAMP:¬† I think we had our 110 test.¬† We run 16 110s and we have a prescribed time at each position that they have to make.¬† Of our entire roster, we had only two players, one of them being a true freshman, not make all of their times from 16 110s.¬† As far as buy‑in level that's there.¬† I couldn't say that in our previous three years we had that many guys make it.¬† It is a hard test.
I just see some things from this team, from an intangible standpoint that are positive.¬† Now we need to do it with pads on, when football really starts.¬† That is something you just got to continue to build through camp.
Q.¬† Is that something where obviously now going into camp and then the season itself, you're going to find out more along the way.
COACH MUSCHAMP:¬† No question.¬† When you turn the lights on and you go out there in the stadium in front of the 90,000 people, that is when you find out.
Q.¬† Is it in the back of your mind this might creep up again?
COACH MUSCHAMP:¬† Well, sure.¬† But, again, I go back to when your best players are good guys and good dudes, you are going to be all right.¬† Our best players right now are great people.
Q.¬† With all the off season talk, 4 and 8, and Georgia Southern and players faces and how many times they had to sort of deal with that, is this going to be one of the easier teams for you to motivate your pregame or halftime speeches?
COACH MUSCHAMP:¬† All the pregame and halftime stuff, that is well overrated.¬† Recruit good players, that helps.
We've got a good roster, and our guys are motivated.¬† I told our guys, you can you bear all you want, you better learn to deal with it.¬† That's part of it.
COACH MUSCHAMP:¬† He's a 230‑pound back that about midway through the third and fourth quarter you get tired of hitting.¬† He's got extremely good hands, he's very good at protection, very smart player, a guy that had a lot‑‑ I thought he had as good a spring, a spring ago, for a back that I've been around.¬† Missed all of training camp last year with the viral infection.¬† He weighs 233 pounds.¬† We had his goal weight at 228 and I watched him run the 110 at 00:02:33 and I told him that he can weigh 235 if he wanted to.¬† He looks really good, he's healthy, he's in shape, he's excited, itching to get started.
Q.¬† How do you feel about the lack of disciplinary issues this summer?
COACH MUSCHAMP:¬† It's a daily continual education for your players, and I think it goes back to recruiting, part of the evaluation process and taking the right guys, number one.¬† Then number two, doing a good job as far as your structure is concerned on your campus to guys understand there is going to be consequences.¬† And they understand to stay within the lines of what we need to do and how they're going to act and represent the University of Florida.
I always tell players they're going to make mistakes.¬† They're going to make some poor choices and decisions, but help me help you.¬† If you are willing to work with me, I'm willing to work with anybody.¬† I'll give you the shirt off my back to help you.¬† And it's through a growing process as a college student.¬† So our guys, in my opinion, have bought into that.¬† They understand that we're here to help them.¬† They don't buck at that very much and I think they have done a nice job for the post part.
Q.¬† (Inaudible.)¬† How vital is that?
COACH MUSCHAMP:¬† Well, we got to be able to get in the red zone and score points.¬† Sometimes some of our teams in our league they do a nice job defending you in the red zone.¬† You have got to convert those to field goals at times.
We've got to be able to kick the ball better and flip the field defensively when we're punting the ball.¬† You look at the field position chart and how difficult it is to move the ball against a good defense, which I think we'll have, be able to flip the field in the field position is huge.
2012 speaks for itself as far as some of the things we were able to do.
COACH MUSCHAMP:¬† No.¬† It's open, but I have lot more confidence coming out of spring, and especially the spring game as opposed to maybe going into spring.
COACH MUSCHAMP:¬† Well, I mean, we'll have to manage the game.¬† I think every game will be different depending on the score, and those sort of things, and how we're playing defensively.¬† Time of possession has never been related to winning games.
Q.¬† Talking about some position groups battling in camp now, in the secondary you got maybe the most starting jobs up for grabs and some of the least experienced players.¬† Is that safe to say that the secondary is one of your biggest areas of concern?
COACH MUSCHAMP:¬† From an experience standpoint, yes.¬† From a talent standpoint, no.¬† I'll take talent over experience any day.¬† You look at combination of Vernon Hargreaves is a very good player, played well for us last year.¬† But whether it's J.C. Jackson, Quincy Wilson, Duke Dawson, Jalen Tabor, Brian Poole, who played a lot for us at the nickle, but he's also going to start for outside at corner some.¬† And the combination at safety from a Marcus Maye to Keanu Neal, Marcell Harris, Jabari Gorman, Nick Washington, guys that I think can play winning football for us inside.¬† We'll also rep Marcus at the nickle, he and Brian both.¬† Vernon can go in there in emergency situations.
Q.¬† Is this a situation where it's likely that a starter will emerge at some of these positions or that you're probably going to play a lot of young guys?
COACH MUSCHAMP:¬† Probably play some young guys ans sort of see if somebody goes and performs consistently well.¬† That has always been the challenge for a young player.¬† It's the consistency in their performance daily, of always performing very well.
Deiondre Porter is another young player I'm excited about in the secondary.¬† They normally, most young players, not all, hit the wall at some point.¬† Maybe week two of the season, maybe week three.¬† It's information overload as far as all the stuff they have going on in their lives.¬† That's when it reverts back to the most mature guy normally is the guy that's able to handle that the best.
I always feel like your position further away from the ball, you can play earlier.¬† It's always been my experience.¬† We've had a bunch of guys come in and play as freshman, as secondary players and play winning football for us.¬† I have confidence in those guys' abilities.¬† Their work ethic and what I've been able to see this summer, I've been very pleased.
COACH MUSCHAMP:¬† Well, I think it's the intangibles.¬† He's been raised right.¬† Saw his mom Saturday.¬† She was here in town making sure he is doing right.¬† That is where a lot of it goes to.
I worry about other guys that maybe aren't as mature, aren't as hungry, aren't as driven.¬† I've seen nothing in his approach in the off season program to spring practice, to the summer program, his work ethic, his buy‑in, to continue to be strive to get better.¬† He's a guy, if we start lifting at 10:00, he'll be in there at 9:30 stretching on his own.¬† When weights are over, he's stretching.¬† He's a pro at what he does.¬† He understands that part of it and what it takes to be successful and expect for him to have another good year.
COACH MUSCHAMP:¬† Yeah, all of them.¬† Got to continue to depth on both lines of scrimmage.¬† I think the talent level is there.
Rod Johnson is a guy I'm excited about, we really liked him in fall camp last year.¬† We knew he was going to have a procedure on his meniscus from high school.
David Sharpe is a young man that moves extremely well, watching him.¬† Andrew Mike has been a guy we've been pleased with.¬† Antonio Riles continues to make progress as an inside player.¬† So there is enough combination of guys that I think are talented enough.¬† How quickly we need to get them ready, even if that means reducing our package to make sure they are able to go in there and execute.
Defensive line‑wise, I hit on some of the inside guys.¬† Bryan Cox has been a guy I've been pleased with, can play defensive end for us.¬† Alex McCalister has made some strides for us.¬† He's up to 248, so he's as big as he's been since he's been here.¬† We need to make sure he's able to maintain that in camp.
Justus Reed, seen his movement skills.¬† Taven Bryan, Gerald Willis, all of those guys will get an opportunity.¬† Thomas Holley, Khairi Clark, all of those guys get opportunities.
COACH MUSCHAMP:¬† I think from a concern standpoint going in, it's a different entry point to the line of scrimmage from a quarterback coming from under as opposed to a back coming from home position behind the quarterback, but our guys seem to really like the angle they hit it with, whether they are from a pistol look behind the quarterback or from a side of the quarterback on the right or left depending on the run scheme is concerned.
From a standpoint of the run game, the runs are the same and block the same.¬† Their entry angle is a little different and those guys seem to really like what we did in the spring as far as those things are concerned from the gun.¬† That was a concern going in, but I thought Kelvin had a really good spring.¬† Brandon Powell is a freshman I'm excited about.¬† Mack Brown is going his senior year.¬† Hunter Joyer can play multiple positions for us, as far as being a running back in some short yardage situations, but also being a move tight end slash fullback position we call the B.
So multiple guys can help us.¬† Getting Matt Jones back is going to be huge.¬† Mark Herndon is a really good walk on for us that's been put on scholarship, a very deserving scholarship player.¬† That combination of guys and that competition is going to be key for us.
COACH MUSCHAMP:¬† Well, again, he's a guy that's got a really good natural running ability and skill.¬† We'll try and create that as much as possible.
Q.¬† Jarrad Davis is really a guy that broke out at the end of last year.¬† How has his strong finish carried into the off season?
COACH MUSCHAMP:¬† Jarrad is a really good football player.¬† He was only a 2‑star, so he wasn't allowed to be, but he turned out to be really good.¬† He is guy that's really explosive in a short area.¬† He's got really good punch on taking on a block and as far as finishing on tackles.¬† But he's a very instinctive off‑the‑ball player.¬† He also can play at the end of the line.¬† He's a guy that can play both.¬† He gives you some variety in what he can do.¬† Really smart, really conscientious in what he wants to do.¬† He's an outstanding special teams player for us early in the year, can continued to grow into his position.¬† I think played extremely well.¬† He's primed for a really good year.
Q.¬† You mentioned a couple of times that you wanted to get a quarterback accomplished early.¬† How do you see that happening?
COACH MUSCHAMP:¬† Well, I think Thomas will decide that as we get through training camp.¬† But no different than we did Jeff my first year.¬† We put him in the second series of second quarter.¬† We planned it going in, we knew what we were doing to do.¬† We put him in the game.¬† We've got to get another guy ready, and that's what we plan on doing.
Who that will be, I don't know.¬† What sort of package we'll have for them, I have no idea at this time.
Q.¬† In the past you wanted to establish a physical tone early in the year.¬† How do you balance that with having a new offense?
COACH MUSCHAMP:¬† Well, I think we're further along offensively than I thought we would be going into training camp because of spring.¬† I think our guys have a really good understanding, credit to Kurt and our offensive staff.¬† Also our players are being receptive to what we're trying to do.
I've scheduled the first 15 practices.¬† We tweak and Kurt may say I need more of this, or DJ may say I may need more of that.¬† Coleman Hutzler, our special teams coordinator, may say I need more of this work.
So we do tweak those schedules, but I feel good about the physicality we've got planned in our first 15 days.¬† We've got about a half scrimmage and one full scrimmage in those opportunities.¬† Then we have on entire week before we start game week.¬† That's when I will refocus with the staff on the things we need to work on going into that next week.
Q.¬† Following up on that, with the injuries that you suffered last year this time, any backing down at all?
COACH MUSCHAMP:¬† We're changing a little bit practice time.¬† We're going to go in the morning more than we have in the past.¬† We usually incorporated a midday practice off a two‑a‑day.¬† I think we only have three or four.¬† The midday practice was hard from the standpoint of the heat and also weather.¬† Sometimes you get lightening.¬† We're going to practice every morning.
When we do have opportunities, per the rules, to have a two‑a‑day practice, go later at night and a little lighter than we had been doing before so it won't be as taxing for the players.
My biggest concern is being able to have guys hydrated here in this heat, and sometimes I think going in the morning and eliminating the midday practice will help us.
Q.¬† Secondly, have you figured out Twitter yet?
COACH MUSCHAMP:¬† It's a work in progress.¬† My nine year old and 12 year old have helped me.¬† It's really unfair.¬† When you get a message sent to you, it also goes to your text and then you respond to your text, not that I violated any of the NCAA rules because you are not allowed to text, then it goes out.¬† It's not a direct message; it's a message for everybody.¬† You learn the hard way in life sometimes.
Q.¬† I text my phone number out that way.
COACH MUSCHAMP:¬† Really.¬† Help you any?
Q.¬† Some stupid radio station.
COACH MUSCHAMP:¬† But, hey, you live and learn.¬† The social media is interesting.¬† I can you that.¬† It's a way that you've got to be able to understand how to do it to be able to communicate with recruits.¬† That's a huge part of it.
Q.¬† Were you concerned at all that those were violations?
COACH MUSCHAMP:¬† No.¬† As long as there's nobody's name on it.¬† I told the staff, don't put anybody's name on anything.¬† If you do mess up‑‑ I taught Brad Lawing how to Tweet.
Q.¬† He did a better than you?
COACH MUSCHAMP:¬† Absolutely.
Q.¬† You said you wanted eight guys on the offensive line ideally.¬† You have seven.¬† Are you satisfied with the development of the other guys?¬† Two, in the offense, will the quarterback position be a run factor and are you hesitant at all to run Jeff because of injury history?
COACH MUSCHAMP:¬† I think Jeff has got to be smart in run game and getting down.¬† He's a competitive guy, so he's got to be smart about being competitive and understand the situations when he needs to get on the ground.¬† That is something we've talked to him about extensively.
In the offense line, in a perfect world you like to have a center, a backup center that you feel comfortable, a swing guard and a swing tackle.¬† Really most college football teams, that's what they have.¬† Very rarely is somebody going to sit here and feel great about winning a championship with ten offensive linemen.
We need to work to that combination first and then build from there.¬† I think there's good enough players on our roster to have that.
Q.¬† You expressed the (Inaudible.)¬† How difficult was it for you to switch it up even though obviously last year the results (Inaudible.)
COACH MUSCHAMP:¬† Well, I don't think it was really fair to judge us last year offensively with some obvious things that happened to us.¬† You go back and look at the numbers and sometimes statistics can lie to you or they can tell you the truth.¬† I feel Jeff is more comfortable being in the shotgun.¬† That is the button line.
You go back and look, and you still can maintain the physicality you need to have and do that.¬† Steve Spurrier never got in the shotgun until 1996 and he won four SEC Championships before he ever did it.¬† To sit there and say you can't play from under center at Florida is ridiculous too.
To fit our roster, it was the best move for us in my opinion.¬† In looking for that type of coach that I felt like to be good moving forward, Kurt Roper was the best guy for the job for us moving forward.
Q.¬† Secondly, David Sharpe is a guy who had acquired a reputation of high school of really loving basketball but not having the same passion for football.¬† What are you seeing from him in terms of passion?¬† Many of his coaches question his work ethic.
COACH MUSCHAMP:¬† He is a guy that's 6'6" and a half.¬† He weighed 336 pounds when he reported and he made 16 110s in the prescribed time for offensive linemen.¬† I've been other places and that didn't come close to making that sort of time.
I think his commitment level has been outstanding.¬† He's worked extremely hard in the weight room.¬† He's done everything we've asked for him in the weight room, in the classroom, and I've been very pleased to this point with his buy‑in factor of playing football.¬† This is no question athletically he's extremely talented, extremely smart.¬† He's a guy that we're counting on to give us some help this year.
Q.¬† You said how the offense this year will look completely different to the fans in the stands.¬† What about for the players?¬† How has that transition been like?¬† Can you compare it to the transition of Charlie and Brent from a couple years ago?
COACH MUSCHAMP:¬† I think the players have been very receptive.¬† Part of the reason why I made a change, I felt like they lost confidence in what we were doing.¬† You can continue to do the same things and get the same results or you need to make a change.
Philosophically, we're not going to be different.¬† We're going to be balanced in what we do.¬† That was one of the things in talking to Kurt when I interviewed him was about the balance that he wants to have offensively.¬† You look at his numbers at Duke and Mississippi and all the places he's been and that's been ‑‑ that's the way they've been.
Schematically, drastically different from being in the gun, creating more tempo, which we had plan to do that last year and we never got to it after Jeff's injury.¬† I think our players have been very receptive.¬† I think our players had success against a pretty good defense in the spring.¬† Build confidence in what we're trying to do.¬† I think they are excited.
Q.¬† You mentioned specifically Jeff being more comfortable with this offense, having experienced that from high school.¬† Can you talk about how he's drawing that experience from a few years ago to now?
COACH MUSCHAMP:¬† I think again when you get used to repping and doing something a lot from the gun‑‑ and again, I talked to Jason Garrett, a good friend of mind, the head coach of the Cowboys, he just talked from the quarterback position, the difference from being in the gun and coming from under center, and the comfortable level that a quarterback develops in one of those.¬† Very rarely do you find an accomplished guy that feels comfortable enough, coming from under center and in the shotgun.
So again, some of things he said to me made a lot of sense.¬† I think I saw that in the spring with Jeff.¬† His numbers spoke for themselves in 2012, that he was a much more comfortable quarterback from the gun in the run and the pass game.
COACH MUSCHAMP:¬† Oh, I don't know.¬† Based on the record last year, I haven't.¬† That's the way you look at it.¬† You are what your record is.¬† Just as far as total management of the organization, being able to be not just on the defensive side of the ball, but be more involved with our organization and offense, defense, special teams, delegating more of what we need to do to be successful.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports